Long-tailed, pale gray sparrow with contrasting brown back and small pink bill. Face of breeding male looks like it's covered in soot. Reminiscent of Dark-eyed Junco but juncos show prominent white in tail; also note Black-chinned Sparrow's streaked back and brown edges on wing feathers. Prefers shrubby hillsides and slopes with large bushes and rocky outcroppings, from the southwestern U.S. to central Mexico. Song is often likened to a dropped ping-pong ball: an accelerating series of notes, not as clear-toned as Field Sparrow.